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British Steel begs for taxpayer funds to avert collapse

British Steel begs for taxpayer funds to avert collapse

Business
Ministers are drawing up secret contingency plans for the collapse of British Steel amid a fresh funding crisis that could trigger thousands of job losses at its plant in Scunthorpe and intensify fears about the entire industry's future.Sky News has learnt that ‎insolvency experts have been placed on standby in case the UK's second-largest steel producer cannot secure tens of millions of pounds to see it through the coming months. The contingency plans are being drawn up as the company seeks a further loan of up to £75m from the government.A financial support loan on commercial terms was agreed in outline with Whitehall as part of a broader package announced earlier this month, insiders claimed on Tuesday.However, the second part of the deal was supposed to have been finalised by the end o
HS2 redundancy pay 'shocking waste' of taxpayer cash

HS2 redundancy pay 'shocking waste' of taxpayer cash

Business
Unauthorised redundancy payments made by the state-owned company managing the HS2 rail project were a "shocking waste of taxpayers' money", MPs have said.The Public Accounts Committee said the firm overseeing construction of a high-speed rail line offered staff terms "well in excess" of authorised levels.The MPs blamed "weak internal processes" at HS2 for overpayments to 94 people totalling £1.76m.An HS2 spokesperson acknowledged "a serious error" had been made.The company made the payments in 2016-17 after shedding 94 staff in a move from London to Birmingham.A combination of compulsory and voluntary redundancy schemes were offered on enhanced terms, resulting in a total bill of £2.76m, despite instructions from the Department of Transport that they should be at statutory rates, which wou